June is off to a cool start in Washington, D.C. and much of the Northeast this year. As forecast last week, a big dip in the jet stream has released cold air out of Canada. Today will be Washington, D.C.’s third consecutive day with highs only in the spring-like 70s.
North of us, cities like New York and Boston have been stuck in the 60s or cooler due to a stubborn upper-level low off the coast of New England. In Boston, for example, the high temperature on Monday was a cold and rainy 53 degrees!
Here in D.C., we’ve hit the jackpot with dry air and partly sunny skies – though some may find it a bit too cloudy and cool for sitting by the pool.
Like or dislike, D.C.’s current stretch of below-normal temperatures is hardly unusual. Though it might feel that way after we had two brutally hot summers in a row (June 2010 was our warmest on record, with June 2011 not far behind).
Historically, Washington averages several days each June with daytime highs below 80 degrees at Reagan National Airport. Our 30-year normal is 6.7 days (down from 8.6 days since records began).
The greatest number of sub-80 degree days since 1980 was 14 in 2003. The least was one in 2011 (78ºF on Jun. 14). It was the only June on record during which temperatures failed to reach 80 on just one occasion.
If temperatures below 80 are too cool for you, consider that June in D.C. sometimes features days below 70 degrees. As recently as 2009, we had 3 days below 70. The 30-year June average is about 1 day below 70 every other year.
What about a high below 60 degrees? Due to the strong June sun at our latitude, this is extremely rare for D.C. It only happened once in the last 30 years when the high temperature was a record-breaking 58ºF on June 3, 1997.
If you’re like me and find these 70-degree days a refreshing hiatus from our normal heat and humidity, enjoy them while you can. With warmer weather returning this weekend, they’ll be a distant memory by next week.